Luther College assistant professor Hongxiao Yu selected as first Excellence in Collaboration Award recipient
DECORAH, IOWA—Luther College’s Hongxiao Yu, assistant professor of management, is the first recipient of the Excellence in Collaboration Award from the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce and Luther College for her active role in helping local businesses.
Yu received the award at the 2024 Annual January Luncheon, which showcases the connection between Decorah and the college.
“What a nice way to kick off 2024 with our Decorah-area partners and friends: celebrating the past with 100 years of the chamber and 33 years of our annual luncheon, while looking to the future with a new award honoring Luther College and Decorah-area organization collaborative efforts,” said President Jenifer K. Ward. “We were proud to see Yu honored as the first recipient of this award.”
Yu worked to connect Luther students with several local employers including Decorah Bank & Trust, Landing Market, Impact Coffee and Pulpit Rock Brewery along with Luther’s Center for Ethics and Public Engagement and the Career Center.
Decorah-area leadership, chamber members and business leaders filled the Peace Dining Hall in the Dahl Centennial Union for the event.
“It was delightful to see a huge turnout for the luncheon today. The joyous occasion in honor of the 100th anniversary of the chamber exemplified the importance of the collaboration between Luther and Decorah,” said Decorah mayor Lorraine Borowski.
Robert Clay, chief equity and inclusion officer and assistant to the president for community engagement, presented the award. Alexander Meszler accepted the award on behalf of Yu, who was able to spend J-Term with family and friends in her home country of China.
“She sets a standard for future efforts,” said Clay. “Yu connected academia and business, and infused new elements of creativity into our shared Decorah space.”
Yu was one of 12 nominees for the award, which focused on collaborative projects between the campus and community in areas like career services, historic preservation, cultural heritage, manufacturing, small businesses, safety, tourism, research, internships and experiential learning that expanded services, added skills or enhanced the Decorah experience.
Nominations for the 2025 award will open in late fall of this year on the Decorah-Area Chamber of Commerce website. Individuals or teams that demonstrate successful cooperation, collaboration or innovation to positively impact quality of life for campus and community are eligible to apply. The review committee encourages specific projects, events, efforts or initiatives that ultimately benefit campus life, community vibrancy, health and wellness, open communication or the local economy.
Hongxiao Yu is the first recipient of the Excellence in Collaboration Award.
About Luther College
At Luther College in beautiful Decorah, Iowa, students explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.